The most fitting response I have heard amidst the continued and rather addictive coverage following last weeks’ referendum result has been from HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
Whilst addressing the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament she encouraged MSPs saying “now is a time for hope and optimism” and reminded global political leaders to “make room for quiet thinking and contemplation”. She also referred to “increasingly complex and demanding times where events and developments can and do take place at remarkable speed”.
What has struck me more than anything is how high emotions are running. Not only in political circles but in every conceivable social group. Every opinion is valuable, no feelings can be discounted, but amidst this we are faced with passion and action to overturn the referendum result, a 500% increase in racial related crime and a cauldron of confusion, angst and uncertainty, not only here but across Europe and the US. The journal section of The Guardian last Saturday asks “Brexit Therapy: how do we put ourselves back together?”
Susie Orbach, a psychotherapist who has been dealing with her client’s response to Brexit said “we need to address the fallout in an emotionally literate way”. She talks of bewilderment and says “questions of insecurity and belonging are uppermost” (in the consulting room) and the horror of not knowing whether one has a place “how unbearable that others don’t feel they have a place”.
Susie also referred to the “… fright and consternation about a racism now given oxygen…” and how backward that racism, suddenly, is an “acceptable expression of powerlessness”.
The society fractures that we’re seeing are substantial and equally, significant. The habits and states of mind of people may not affect a decision to travel but it may well influence the where and whys of travel. Wellbeing Escapes saw a spike in bookings immediately post referendum result and the anticipation of a weak pound will heighten domestic travel as well Europeans and Americans taking advantage of a bigger bang for their buck by traveling to the UK over the summer.
It is my humble belief that a wellness anchored trip and, or, how health and wellbeing is being perceived within travel, will become more powerful in it’s infusion throughout every type of trip. Why? Because the most common denominator is a desire to ‘feel better’. We’re all human beings and we all, have an inbuilt humanistic instinct that draws us to seek balance, happiness and also, purpose. Within ourselves, between friends, amongst families and within communities. The fall-out following the referendum result has done nothing if not sharpen the lens of humanity in both it’s glory and ugliness into high visual technicolor focus.
To every guest house, B&B, hotel, retreat and refuge; people need people. We need to feel like we matter and that other people, strangers, friends or whomever, care about the people around them. Sharing that intention and seeking to make a difference in whatever way is possible maybe the most sought after but also the least accessible option, for too many people.
Where we are is the most ostensible illustration of need for national and global wellness focus and individual wellbeing… the string that binds, is humanism and humanity.